Arrow RECAP: At Least Sara Isn't Alive to See This (S3:E2)
PREVIOUSLY ON ARROW: Past!Oliver was imprisoned in Maseo’s house in Hong Kong, Ray Palmer took over Queen Consolidated, and Sara is dead.
Oliver, Felicity, and Roy are heading down to the Arrow Cave and bickering about their new phone system, but they’re shocked to find they aren’t alone: Laurel is there, with Sara’s body, which she has somehow transported from a different location in Starling City by herself without anyone noticing. I know the population has plummeted, but damn. They’re all stunned and upset, but there’s nothing they can do.
Island Time: Bad hair!Oliver and Maseo are setting up a sniper rifle on a roof in Hong Kong. Oliver asks who Maseo’s target is; turns out he’s the one doing the shooting. Oliver angsts, but Maseo reminds him that he’s the one who has something to lose. Ollie takes his position, but he can’t shoot once he sees his target: Tommy Merlyn, also with bad hair!
Laurel has changed out of her bloodstained suit and is reminiscing to Oliver in Verdant (would Verdant be the overcave, then?) about Sara’s childhood stuffed shark. Laurel wants to find the shark to put with her because she can’t think of anything useful to do. Oliver assures Laurel that he will find Sara’s killer, and Laurel is adamant that she will be tagging along: this time, unlike the last time she thought Sara died, she can do something about avenging it. Laurel leaves because she doesn’t want to be around the temptation of a bar. Smart girl.
Oliver is at a loss himself, and there are no functional security cameras for Felicity to pull data from. I wish I knew what was so different about these arrows that everyone is sure they don’t come from Merlyn, but I don’t. Oliver heads to the rooftop where it happened, sans Arrow gear. He acts out the crime, and John shows up from his paternity leave to remind Oliver that he’s not alone in this. Reinforcing the point that he has a team, Felicity calls: Capt. Quentin Lance wants to meet.
Arrow sounds more brusque than usual as he stalks up to Quentin in the alley du jour. Captain Lance has another body downed by the black arrows. He wants a tip on the killer. Oliver takes the file and leaves. Quentin suspects nothing; why would he?
Another dark warehouse, of which Starling City’s supply is infinite. Not-Merlyn is hard at work killing another guy, and he shoots through five plates of glass to do so.
Felicity and Roy are checking Sara’s body and gear for evidence, bagging everything. They’re better at forensics than Barry Allen! Felicity is really upset because Sara seemed like an invincible woman to her, a standard she couldn’t attain, and she wasted her time being jealous. It’s a brave admission because it’s obvious that Felicity also genuinely liked Sara. John and Oliver return, musing over suspects. John I think brings up Malcolm as a suspect, but he might just be asking if a League archer killed Sara. Oliver shoots him down (ha) by saying that the League would never kill one of their own, and as far as they know, Sara was still League.
They pull security footage of the latest kill. There’s no sign of the archer on video, but they pick up a minor drug deal going down and decide to track down the men as potential witnesses. John is tasked to use Lyla’s ARGUS database to find anyone on their radar that uses a bow. Meanwhile, Thea has not returned Oliver’s calls, and he’s clearly worried. Now Felicity and Roy are too.
Island Time: Bad hair!Oliver puts the gun down, frustrated with Amanda. He refuses to shoot his best friend and demands to know if this is a test. Duh. Maseo says he failed and Tommy is in Hong Kong looking for him because even though he didn’t get a chance to send an email, he did log in, and usually dead people don’t log into their email.
In the Arrow Cave, Roy is looking for Thea in an FBI database, which he hacked into. Felicity wants to know what is going on, and Roy ‘fesses up: Thea’s been lying about her whereabouts to Oliver, which Roy suspects because of a note she gave him before she left. In the note, she claimed she can’t trust anybody, and she can’t be Thea Queen because Thea Queen is weak and she wants to be strong, no matter what (…oh. I just realized that her suspicious travel plus her Merlyn heritage plus her relationship with Roy kinda makes her a really good possible Cheshire, and I’m okay with that, although I am not okay with the potential erasure of Cheshire’s Asian heritage). Felicity says that Oliver needs to know what’s going on, but Roy protests that Ollie will kill him for keeping Thea’s secret. But with Thea potentially in danger, we all know Roy will cave to the dangers of big bro’s anger. While Roy’s jawline is tightening, Felicity’s phone goes off, to her obvious annoyance, and she stomps off to ostensibly kill someone.
Felicity arrives at Queen Consolidated to confront Ray, telling him that she gets it, he’s rich and impulsive and a manchild, and she is so very, very not impressed. She tells him to stop texting and emailing and sending her flowers (really? Ew.) because she refuses to work for him. Which she kinda does already, because he bought the store she works for. Okay, I’m totally with Felicity here, this is definitely stalking, and it is creepy as fuck, Ray. He says that either way, she’s working for him, so she may as well do it in a nice office with a much larger salary. She points out that she has another option: quitting, which she has done. He pulls out the “most girls would appreciate this” bullshit trope and Felicity is having none of it. She is really upset, but he thinks it’s not really because of him and tries to be nice for a second. He’s probably genuine, but I don’t care; he’s overstepped too many boundaries already.
Arrow is looking for the drug dealers from the warehouse security footage; when they spot him, they make a run for it. It’s exactly as effective as you’d think. Arrow beats the details of the archer’s mask out of one dealer and radios John, who’s in Lyla’s office at ARGUS. Wait, that’s not in Starling City, is it? Is John in DC? I’m confused, but anyway: only one of the archers in ARGUS’s database wears a mask: Simon LaCroix, a.k.a. Komodo. John sends the info to Felicity, with Laurel reading over her shoulder. Apparently Simon is right that second calling home to Quebec, so Felicity is able to pinpoint his cellphone to track him. Arrow is in pursuit, and Felicity pulls up the street cameras so she and Laurel can watch the action.
Arrow chases Komodo on motorcycle into an alley, where they play chicken with bows. It’s kinda dumb. Arrow shoots out Komodo’s gas tank, but that allows him to plant and fire, catching Arrow in the shoulder and knocking him off his bike. Arrow’s okay, but Komodo escapes. Laurel is not pleased.
Back in the Cave, Felicity and John work on a way to find Komodo a second time, since he probably won’t call Quebec again, while Roy is out canvassing for Komodo sightings. John points out that their best bet is to figure out the connection between his victims and identify the next one.
Island Time: bad hair!Oliver suggests to Maseo that maybe than can fool Amanda Waller by finding a body that kinda looks like Tommy in a morgue. Maseo points out that they’re in Hong Kong you idiot. Oliver accepts it’s a stupid idea, but he’s not going to kill Tommy. Maseo says that the only alternative is that Amanda will find someone else to kill Tommy. Tommy, meanwhile, is talking to Malcolm on the phone. Daddy Merlyn is not happy that Tommy has taken the jet to Hong Kong without permission. As he angrily hangs up on Malcolm, a black-gloved figure covers Tommy’s mouth and injects him in the neck.
Laurel shows up at Starling City Hospital where Ehrlich Kelso, the Komodo almost-victim who Oliver saved earlier, is being treated. She flashes her ADA badge and throws her father’s name around to interview Ehrlich for an “ongoing investigation.” At this rate, she will figure out the victim connection before Felicity and Oliver, who are waiting for an NSA algorithm to run. There have only been three victims, though; wouldn’t it be quicker to just look at their data by eye? Felicity says she knows she’s not at her best, but she’s grieving and doesn’t understand why Oliver isn’t. He says he can’t because he’s the leader and he has to keep it together, and besides, he’s going to end up like Sara one day so what’s the point in bothering with feelings? She is uninterested in being dragged down into his lifeless life and leaves the Cave.
Laurel is interrogating Ehrlich, who claims he doesn’t know why someone was trying to kill him. She thinks he’s full of shit, but he says he wants to talk to her boss because she can’t treat people like this. Laurel’s response is to slam his broken arm into the bedrail. Laurel is not fucking around, and apparently the cops stationed directly outside Ehrlich’s room can’t hear her yelling. Ehrlich tells her that he was working on a deal with the other two victims to build an oil pipeline, but it was a secret. Before he can spill anymore, he takes an arrow to the chest. Oops. Laurel runs to the window and sees the archer, who for some reason does not shoot her. Though I suppose if he’s a contract killer, there’s no point in killing people he’s not paid to kill.
Oliver is leaving Thea another message, and Roy listens guiltily. But before he can say anything, John comes in with the news that Lyla is working on getting an angle on Komodo with her ARGUS resources. Oliver lies about Felicity’s whereabouts, but when John asks what he needs, he says he just wants Thea to call him back. Roy finally pipes up that she isn’t going to, and Oliver, immediately sensing that Roy Knows Something, asks why. Reluctantly, Roy passes over the note Thea left him, apologizing for not saying anything. He’s clearly expecting anger, but Oliver just seems sad.
Laurel is leaving Felicity a message when Quentin shows up in the hospital, checking up on her. She’s having trouble in his presence because she doesn’t want to tell him about Sara, and she tries to claim she was with Ehrlich because of DA business. Quentin knows better. He doesn’t push about what she was really doing, though, and as he heads off to be captainy, Felicity returns Laurel’s call. They meet in the Cave to integrate Laurel’s intel about the oil pipeline into Felicity’s algorithm. They discover that all three victims received million-dollar payouts from the oil company AmerTek’s subsidiary in Qurac.
Team Arrow hypothesizes that Komodo was paid to stop this oil deal from happening, but that doesn’t explain why Sara was killed, although Felicity says she knows Sara worked in Qurac at some point. Back on point, though, Oliver suggests that the AmerTek board member who authorized the payouts to the first three victims is likely next on the list. Naturally, Tom Weston, AmerTek board member, is scheduled to attend Ray’s Star City Pledge at Queen Consolidated. Team Arrow Away! At least, Oliver and Roy away!
At the pledge, Ray is shaking hands and giving a speech about the future of Starling City. He announces that he’s giving half his net worth to the city and will be collecting a salary of $1 for the coming year. He’s inviting the richest people in the city to join his pledge. He only refers to the city as Star City, so clearly the rebranding has already occurred in his brain. Everyone is impressed with his richness.
Right on cue, Komodo busts in the window and takes Weston down with a bolo arrow around his feet. For some reason he doesn’t just put three arrows in the guy’s back while he’s running away. Komodo starts to reel Weston in, rather than put three arrows in his chest now that he’s flat on his back on the floor, but Red Arrow shoots through the rope. Komodo starts to return fire, but Oliver shoots him in the upper chest. Komodo jerks the arrow out (ow) and they fight while Ray looks on. Red Arrow joins in, but Komodo holds them both off and makes a break for it out the open window. Arrow follows and they stalk one another in an abandoned floor of cubicles for a moment, but finally they’re both aiming at one another. Komodo quips that he thought Arrow would be taller; Arrow is less than amused. They fire, and the arrows hit straight on, because of course they do. Oliver catches Komodo’s second attempt, whirling to fire the same arrow back at him, and this one finds its target, pinning him to a wall through the chest. Oliver drags Komodo’s mask off and demands to know who hired him, though he doesn’t specify if he wants to know who hired him to kill Sara or the Starling City businessmen.
Komodo just wants to know who the lady pointing the gun at him is, because of course Laurel has followed Oliver, and of course she just wants to kill the man who killed her sister. Oliver tries to talk to her down, but it’s not working; luckily Komodo is chiming in on their conversation. Turns out he didn’t kill Sara. Laurel doesn’t believe him and pulls the trigger, but Oliver has taken the ammo out of the gun. Laurel is pissed, but she’ll thank Oliver later, because he and I both believe Simon LaCroix did not kill Sara Lance.
Back at Verdant, Oliver tells Laurel that Komodo’s alibi checks out: he was in Bludhaven (I know Bludhaven has shown up on this show in earlier seasons, but is there a reason Bludhaven is no longer a suburb of Gotham? I thought it was a suburb of Gotham.) the night Sara was killed in Starling City. Faced with a cold trail, because it doesn’t occur to anyone that whoever killed Sara must’ve known another archer was being dispatched to Starling City at the same time, Oliver reminds Laurel that she has to tell her father that Sara is dead. She agrees. In Quentin’s office, she’s gearing up to tell him the truth when his heart rate monitor thingy conveniently goes off to remind us all that he has MAJOR HEART PROBLEMS HE’S PRACTICALLY DEAD and she chickens out. Sigh.
Team Arrow + Laurel bury Sara in what I think is her previously-empty grave. Felicity picks up a handful of dirt to toss onto the coffin in Jewish custom. Oliver follows suit, but Laurel isn’t ready to let go. The rest of Team Arrow face that when they die, nobody will know who they really were, either. John says that they know who Sara was, and he and Lyla have decided to name their daughter Sara in her honor.
Island Time: kidnapped!Tommy awakens tied to a chair. He’s incredibly confused and flustered enough that he doesn’t recognize Oliver’s disastrous early attempt at Arrow-voice. Ollie claims that he hacked his own email account to try to lure a member of the Queen family to Hong Kong to kidnap for ransom, but Tommy will do. As soon as Oliver finishes building his own alibi, Maseo busts in, because obviously only one policeman would be involved in rescuing a wealthy American from a kidnapping. All in all, despite the fact that it was stupid to watch, it’s a pretty ingenious plan to throw Tommy off the scent without assassination.
Oliver angsts in the Arrow Cave, and John says that he’s back on the team while they hunt for Sara’s killer, asking what the next step is. Oliver says it’s to go bring Thea home, wherever she is. He continues to sit by himself, in the dark. Laurel also sits by herself in the candlelight, hugging Sara’s old stuffed shark. Aww. She looks at Sara’s Black Canary jacket, and you practically see the idea of taking over the BC mantle forming. John stands over baby Sara’s crib, easing her to sleep. Roy looks at pictures of him and Thea on his phone. And Felicity goes to see Ray; she’s taking the job at Queen Consolidated.
Thea, meanwhile, is in Corto Maltese, and she’s training with a bo staff while Malcolm watches. SHE IS SO CHESHIRE YESSSSS.